What Could You Do With A Million Dollars?

On the Stacking Benjamins Podcast I was listening to today, Joe was talking about the responses he received when he asked his Twitter followers what they would do with a million dollars.

He got some interesting responses.  Some were altruistic–donating the money or helping family members.  Some were realistic–like paying off debt.  And some were funny–like calculating the time it would take to count the money at the bank–in twenties.

It got me thinking.  What could each of us do with a million dollars?

I’m overly rational so I got out the calculator.  $1,000,000 invested should provide $40,000 of retirement income forever.  With Social Security providing 40% of our needs (as it does for the average recipient), we should have a stream of income of about $67,000 in retirement.  I could live a pretty nice life on $67,000.

That $1,000,000 invested in rental real estate should provide even more income.  According to Paula at affordanything.com, we shouldn’t invest in a property unless it will rent for 12% of the purchase costs per year, 6% of that goes to costs and that leaves 6% return for us.  Our retiree now has an annual stream of income of $100,000 including Social Security.

Now we’re talkin’!  With that income, we could do some really cool altruistic stuff too! Continue reading “What Could You Do With A Million Dollars?”

I Froze My Credit–Should You?

It seems like every time I turn on the TV I hear about another company getting hacked and more people’s personal information getting into the wrong hands.

I received a phone call yesterday from a former colleague and good friend.  The accounting company that does her taxes was hacked.  Her four children and her own social security, address and dates of birth are now likely being offered to the highest bidder on the internet.  With that information, someone can easily file fraudulent tax returns, apply for credit, obtain medical services and wreak other havoc with their lives.

Last year, two of my friends had their tax returns filed fraudulently.  Someone else received their tax refunds before the real people had the opportunity to file their returns.  They spent hours going to the Internal Revenue Service offices to prove that the returns were filed fraudulently and confirm their identity so they could receive their own refunds.

To combat this risk, I can spend anywhere from $100 to $329 each year to have a company monitor my credit and reimburse me for lost funds.  Or I can protect myself by spending an hour freezing my credit for free.  This only works because I am not routinely seeking new lines of credit–mortgages, credit cards etc. Continue reading “I Froze My Credit–Should You?”

Debt steals your dreams

It’s funny how the ads make it look like that shiny new car or fancy vacation creates dreams but if it takes debt to pay for them, those things are really stealing your dreams.

No matter what your financial goal, debt is an obstacle to achieving it. Debt can be an obstacle to achieving any life goal.

People like to say there is good debt and bad debt. Continue reading “Debt steals your dreams”